Skip to main content

Full text of "Long Lance"

See other formats

'SWEAR    Sr   THE   HORN'

summer days, when we were allowed to run as
wild as the antelope.

On our last night in winter-quarters, the night
before the big movement, our fathers would hold
a big war-dance which lasted all night, and no one
would go to bed but us youngsters. We could
stay up and watch the dance until about ten
o'clock; but our fathers and mothers would dance
and feast all night—and wake us at four and tell
us to get our clothes on. Right after supper we
would hear the drummers tuning up the big war-
drums and the singers trying out their voices.
Our fathers would be painting their bodies in
beautiful colours, and our mothers would be
braidkig their hair and putting on their best buck-
skin finery, ornamented with, many quills, beads,
bear-claws and ermine-tails.

We youngsters were dressed up and allowed to
paint our faces that night, too. Our mothers
would smear our faces with war-red, and tell us
to sit quietly and watch our fathers, and learn all
we could about the war-dance. This big dance
was held to thank the Great Spirit for allowing us
to survive the winter and to steel our tempers for
any trouble or fights that we may encounter
during the turbulent summer season.

If any one had died during the winter their
relatives would bring to the war-dance many
sacrifices in the form of fine buckskin garments,